Workers in the school system in New York City have until the end of this week to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those who do not face being put on unpaid leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The mayor issued the new mandate Monday night after a panel of three judges in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals withdrew a temporary injunction, which it approved Friday. It was in place while the court reviewed a federal district’s decision not to throw the city’s vaccination mandate out to Education Department employees.
“For anyone who has not received a dose before Friday at 17, after all the encouragement, all the support, all the incentives, we then assume that you will not come to work on Monday morning as a vaccinated employee, and we will immediately find a deputy, ”said the mayor. “And then these people will go on unpaid leave, who chose not to be vaccinated.”
Those who are not vaccinated or received an exemption go on unpaid leave with effect on Monday. These individuals would maintain their position and continue to receive health insurance through September 2022.
On July 26, the city ordered all 148,000 employees of the Department of Education and departmental contractors working in school-based environments to begin the vaccination process by September 13th. The mandate also applied to any visitor 12 years of age or older to a school or department.
At that time, the order gave affected persons an opt-out at weekly testing.
On August 23, however, de Blasio lifted the test option, saying that advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended full vaccinations for training workers. He then extended the first dose deadline to Monday.
That prompted Rachel Maniscalco, a state school teacher in Staten Island, to file a lawsuit on Sept. 10. According to her complaint, the city informed the United Teachers’ Association that anyone with a medical problem, such as an allergic reaction to a vaccine component, would be allowed to take paid medical leave. They would then switch to unpaid leave after the expiration.
Those with religious exceptions would be immediately put on unpaid leave.
“The public needs qualified teachers who are available to teach in public schools – as these teachers very often were in the last year, when there was no vaccine and the transfer rates were much higher than they are now,” it said. there in the complaint. “With alternative proper safety procedures, transfer rates can be kept low while all teachers can carry out their professions and teach students and promote the public interest.”
After being denied a temporary injunction in federal court, Maniscalco, which was joined by three others in the case, took the case to the Court of Appeal.
In its response to the plaintiffs’ appeal, the city noted a clear difference between mandate teachers being vaccinated, while the first respondents as firefighters and police officers could test weekly.
“Unlike the other employees in the city, teachers and trainees spend long periods with children indoors, while many of these children are still not eligible for vaccination,” reads the city’s response. “The vaccination mandate is not just a rational public health measure, but a crucial one.”
De Blasio said Tuesday that about 1,000 training staff received vaccinations on Monday. Thus, 91 percent of teachers and 87 percent of all department staff have had at least one dose.
The mayor also added that those who go on unpaid leave from Monday will be allowed to return if they get a shot. It would be “a very long time” before anyone would be fired.
“There is definitely a chance to correct people who are thinking better about the situation,” de Blasio said. “Miss their paycheck, miss their opportunity to serve people, miss their colleagues, whatever it is, they can correct.”
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Tags: News, New York City, teacher, state, New York
Original author: Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square contributor
Original location: New York City educators who remain unvaccinated at the end of the week will receive unpaid leave, the mayor says